So I decided to write a few really short, short stories about some of Pax' supporting characters. I'm still in the rough draft stages of the supplemental stories, but I hope to post one of the stories and a map of the colony near the end of January 2008.
The supplemental stories are:
McAllister's Diary: This is a story interwoven with entries in the diary of a doctoral biologist named Keegan McAllister. She's on one of the last expedition ships from Earth. As a project leader she awakes three months before reaching the colony to review data transmissions from Pax and decide on team objectives. Pax began making the transmissions when he was seven, so she has 23 years of data to review. She watches Pax grow up in the transmissions and comes to realize that when she arrives, he will be two years older than her. Pax' apprentice, Madelyn, also makes an appearance in the data transmission entries.
Madelyn's Task: Madelyn is an orphan adopted by the Seek (the guild of explorers in The Colony). At the age of 13 she was assigned as Pax' apprentice. She's not an explorer or even a mediocre woodsman. She's a grease monkey, construction worker and architect all rolled into one. At the age of 16, Pax tasks her with overseeing the construction of a settlement being built on land he owns on the edge of the explored world. She spends three years on this project before moving on as a full-fledged member of the seek. McAllister's ship arrives five years later, making her 24 when the Tradewinds story begins. Jha'Kel, a friend of Pax makes his first appearance in this story.
Jha'Kel's Travels: Jha'Kel is an indigenous sentient from a race of primates living on in the giant hardwood forests near the settlement in Madelyn's Task. Jha'Kel's species is similar to primates, I'm thinking chimpanzees. His species lives in crude huts made in trees and uses crude tools, fire and has a very simple written language. Their technological development is on the edge of an agrarian society. They have some cultivation skills that are in the early development stages. On a whole, they are a very inquisitive species with a highly developed bartering system. They used that to their advantage when trading with humans. Jha'Kel decides to travel to the first human settlement to find his fortune. He is the exact opposite of Pax. He moves toward civilization while Pax moves away from it. While moving toward the center of the human civilization, Jha'Kel observes and learns much about human cultivation techniques. He eventually decide to go home, but makes a bargain with Madelyn for land in the settlement she is overseeing. He opens the settlement's first retail business; selling exotic plants, flowers and fruits from the woods he calls home.
(010208 Note: Pax taught this species sign language and developed a crude audio translator. Most well traveled traders know the sign language. Also, Jha'Kel and Madelyn met several times on trading expeditions Pax made.)
(010408 Note: Jha'Kel's species is called Tibari. That name just popped into my head. The river leading into their homeland is called the Tibari Gate and the hardwood forest they inhabit is called the Tabari Safehold.)